by HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir
“These are the chronicles of Isaac” (Genesis 25:19). Rashi explains that Isaac’s “chronicles” [toldot] were Jacob and Esau. Rashi is thus emphasizing that Isaac had two sons, one righteous and one evil, just as Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, one righteous and the other evil. Only Jacob merited to have all his sons be righteous, as it says, “Your people are all righteous” (Isaiah 60:21).
The fact that Abraham and Isaac had wicked children teaches us an important foundation: All growth and development occurs in two stages. The first stage includes both good and evil, whereas in the final stage, occurring at the end of the growth and development, we merit to see that all was for the best.
To what may this be compared? To a fruit and its husk. When the fruit first appears, the husk envelops and protects it, yet that husk is bitter, and sometimes hard, like a nutshell.
Ishmael and Esau were bitter and hard for the Jewish People, but at the end of the process of growth, the sweet, pleasant fruit is revealed, once we remove the husk. Or, the husk itself becomes sweet (From orange peels one can make preserves).
It is the same with the history of the Jewish People. At first there are many complications and difficulties -- many “husks.” In the future, however, we will merit the sweet fruit. When all of Israel are redeemed, mankind, as well, will be redeemed together with them, as it says, “Liberators shall ascend upon Mount Zion to judge the Mountain of Esau, and dominion shall belong to the L-rd” (Ovadiah verse 21); “The L-rd shall be King over all the earth. On that day the L-rd shall be one and His name one” (Zechariah 14:9).
Today, we are at the height of a process in which the Jewish People are rising to rebirth. The sweetness and goodness of Israel, and their benevolence towards all of mankind, shall be more and more revealed.
At the same time, however, the hard, cruel husk is being revealed in the form of those evildoers who are fighting against the Jewish People. Yet the day is not far off when that bitter husk will disappear, and we will be privileged to see with our own eyes how “Judah shall remain forever; Jerusalem from generation to generation” (Joel 4:20). A new light will then shine over Zion, for us and for the whole world.
Looking forward to complete redemption,